Big Idea Ventures selected 17 startups working in the alternative protein sector for the latest cohort of its accelerator. The early-stage startups were selected for pre-seed investment by Big Idea Venture‘s three offices in New York, Paris, and Singapore. They will receive support through the firm’s New Protein Fund I. This fund was specifically created to invest in the best plant-based, cell-based, and fermentation-enabled food, ingredients, and technology companies.
All the startups selected by Big Idea Ventures are looking to solve key challenges in the alternative protein industry today. From new extraction and fermentation methods to AI-enabled micro fluids, connected bioreactors, and cell-based fats these startups are building innovative solutions that could help scale up production and reduce costs.
Let’s have a look at who these startups are based on the different locations of Big Idea Ventures Alternative Protein Accelerator.
New York Accelerator
Caroline Mak leads Big Idea Venture’s Program in New York. Five startups have been selected for this cohort in the Big Apple.
Cultimate Foods (Germany): Cultimate Foods is a cellular agriculture company that creates alternative fat ingredients for plant-based meat products. Unlike other fat alternatives, this company replicates the structure of animal fat tissue.
Extracellular (UK): Extracellular channels biology, digitalization, and biomanufacturing expertise to accelerate cultivated meat development. They use their scale-up experience and deep insights into cellular behavior to produce biomass for cultivated meat companies more efficiently.
Thrilling Foods (US) — manufactures and sells Bakon, a patented bacon alternative made from soy milk that is traditionally salt cured and hardwood smoked. Bakon is composed of both fatty and lean layers that constitute a very similar texture and macronutrient values to traditional pork bacon.
Genuine Taste (Canada): This cell-based agriculture startup produces cultivated fat to improve the taste, texture, aroma, and nutrition of alternative protein products. Their patent-pending scaffolding technology enables the cultivation of fat cells in the exact microenvironment they naturally grow in.
NouBio (US): NouBio is a biotech company focusing on the development of sustainable, cost-effective, and animal-free products for scalable cell culture in cultivated meat, cell therapy, and vaccine production businesses.
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Singapore is a leader in the development of alternative protein solutions and this Big Idea Ventures Alternative Protein Accelerator cohort reflects it. There are six Singaporean startups – and one Australian – working on fermentation and cellular agriculture.
Smart MCs (Australia): Smart MCs focus on making texturized cultivated meat a commercially viable food source by providing cell-type-specific microcarriers and complementary solutions. Additionally, their microcarrier technology is being adapted across the pharmaceutical industry to lower cellular therapeutic costs.
ImpacFat (Singapore): ImpacFat specializes in the production of cultivated fat to greatly enhance the flavor, texture, aroma, and nutrition of alternative protein products. This is the first company with a focus on fish cell-based fat.
Dynacyte (Singapore): This company is looking on expanding the reach of biotech by creating smart, and modular bioreactors that have IoT, artificial intelligence, state-of-the-art microelectronics, and wetware incorporated into them.
Mycosortia (Singapore): Mycosortia aims to turn food side streams that are unfit for human consumption into edible alternative protein products using microbial consortia fermentation. They supply microbial fermented and plant-based proteins as green labeled food ingredients via B2B partnerships.
Sono Biosciences (Singapore): Sono Biosciences is a science company developing the next-generation fish cell culture media that are free of animal-derived growth factors, as well as fish cell lines that are immortal and traceable.
Algrow Biosciences (Singapore): This startup creates dairy alternatives with one of the world’s most sustainable, nutritious, and abundant ingredients – microalgae. Their technology tackles target molecules in microalgae linked to off notes and green pigment.
The Paris cohort of Big Idea Ventures alternative protein accelerator features six startups. Within the cohort, there is a growing interest in alternative seafood.
Esencia (Germany): Esencia is the first European company building fish and seafood alternatives based on mushroom mycelium, using solid-state fermentation. Its mission is to accelerate the world’s transition toward a (sea-)food system that provides accessible and affordable nutrition for everyone.
Loki Foods (Iceland): Loki Foods will produce plant-based alternative-seafood products in Iceland, the seafood capital of the world. They will launch plant-based white fish (analogue of Atlantic Cod) in 2023.
Food Squared (UK): A plant based company who formulate whole cut fish alternatives using novel 3D printing. Their biomimicry technology enables higher precision and quicker throughput than conventional whole cut manufacturing methods and has the potential to be fully tunable which can be adapted to create models for different species with different taste, texture and nutrition profiles.
Shoken (UK): Shoken is a London-based gourmet vegan meat manufacturer focusing on deli slices and pizza toppings like pepperoni. The company’s roadmap is built for speed and maximum impact. Their strategy focuses on key global partnerships and high volume accounts in the foodservice and pizza sectors.
Niskus Biotech (Ireland): Niskus Biotech leverages its scaled up solid state fermentation process to provide food companies a new generation of sustainable functional food ingredients that are nutritious, healthy & natural. Their first ingredient product range is MycoGrain, a gourmet mushroom mycelium-based protein rich flour suitable to use as a base ingredient for a broad range of food products.
The Good Pulse Co. (UK): This startup develops natural, functional proteins and ingredients from pulses for use in plant-based foods and supplements. Their mission is to power the transition to plant-based foods by providing sustainable and minimally processed ingredients that make it easier and cheaper for food companies to create more nutritious dairy and meat alternatives.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com –In the Featured Photo: Loki Foods Plant Based white fish. Photo credit: Big Idea Ventures.